Turnaround Kings

This is a relatively easy Twisting the Aces with a great deal of visual magic and a startling climax. To laymen, the ending looks like real magic, or so I've been told. The routine does use a gimmicked card; however, a gaff-free variation immediately follows, which is just as good as the original, although slightly different in handling.

EFFECT: Four Kings are displayed and placed face-up on the table. A card is selected and lost in the deck. The Kings turn face-up and face-down in baffling fashion. For a climax, a King turns face-down, then transforms itself into the chosen card. Only four cards are used throughout.

SET-UP: You are going to need a regular deck of cards and one double-facer, with a King on one side and any spot card on the other. For the sake of explanation, we'll use a King of Spades/10 of Hearts double-facer.

Place the double-facer with the King showing on the bottom of the deck, followed by the two red Kings and the King of Clubs. On the top of the deck, place the normal 10 of Hearts and directly beneath it, the normal King of Spades (this is to insure it doesn't get in the way during the trick).

TO PERFORM: Patter about the special qualities of the four Kings. Holding the deck face-up in the left hand, thumb over the 4 Kings one at a time, taking them with the right hand without reversing their order. Place the Kings in a face-up fan on the table. Turn the remainder of the deck face-down in the left hand.

You must now force the top card (10 of Hearts). There are a number of forces that will work (Bruce Cervon's Flip Over Force, a slip-cut force, a standard riffle force, or the Free-Cut Force described elsewhere in this book).

Have the 10 of Hearts shown to the other spectators and replaced in the deck. Give the cards a quick shuffle and place them off to one side — you will not use the deck again during the trick. Pick up the face-up fan of Kings with the right hand and drop them into the left.

As you square the cards, obtain a left pinky beak between the two red Kings in the center (the 2nd and 3rd cards). Turn the packet face-down in the hands and reverse the two bottom Kings using either KrenzeFs Mechanical Reverse, the Christ reverse, or a normal half pass. Turning the cards over affords plenty of cover, and should allow you to get away with the reverse going undetected.

The order of the four cards now is: Face-down black King, face-down red King, double-facer with King side face-up. and finally a face-up red King. Tell your audience you will magically cause the Kings to turn face-up. While speaking, remove the top card, use it to magically tap the other three cards, and return it to the bottom of the packet. You are now set.

Perform an Elmsley count, showing one King face-up. Click your fingers, and simulate doing an Elmsley, while actually counting the cards fairly and reversing their order. Two face-up Kings will show. Click your fingers again, do another Elmsley, and show three face-up Kings(?).

After you have finished the second Elmsley count, leave the top three cards slightly spread, displaying a face-up King, a face-down King beneath it, a face-up King (your double-facer) beneath it, and a fourth hidden card, which in fact is a face-down King which your audience believes is face-up.

You are now going to reverse this bottom card in the act of fanning the four cards as follows. Get a left pinky break above the bottom card and curl your left forefinger beneath the packet. Your right fingers will now fan the top three cards by entering the break being held by your left pinky. Your right fingers now give the top three cards a quick lengthwise fan. As this happens, your left forefinger quickly extends, reversing the bottom card and snapping it its face up against the bottom of the three cards. This move is Alex Elmsley's, and is invisible when done properly (see illustrations 1-3).

Remove the single face-down card in the fan, calling it the stubborn one, and replace it third from the face. Click your fingers and do another Elmsley count, showing four face-up Kings.

Remark that it's easy to turn the Kings over, the hard part is to turn them face-down. Do a double-turnover of the two cards at the face of your packet. As you turn them over, allow them to fall approximately two inches over the front of the packet so the face-up King will show beneath it. With the left forefinger push the protruding card(s) flush with the packet and immediately do another Elmsley. Four face-down cards will show. Now do another double-turnover, and another Elmsley count, showing four face-up Kings! This looks great, and makes a nice addition to any Twisting the Aces routine.

The order of the packet should now be: face-up red King, face-up King of Spades (double-facer), face-up King of Clubs, face-down red King.

Ask your spectator to reveal the name of the card they chose at the trick's beginning. Click your fingers, then count the cards from your right hand into your left hand as follows. Using your left thumb, pull the face card into the left hand, then the next card (double-facer), then with your right hand use the thumb and first two fingers to spread the cards it holds, displaying a face-up red King on top with a face-down card beneath it (a black King). Place the two cards in your right hand onto the cards in your left, turn the packet face-down, and do another Elmsley, showing the face-up 10 of Hearts in the center of the packet. It's appearance should come as a complete surprise to your audience.

With the right hand, remove the top two cards of the packet. Your left hand will be holding the 10 of Hearts (double-facer) with a face-up red King hidden beneath it. With your left thumb deal the 10 of Hearts to the table while doing a wrist kill, hiding the reversed King. Leave your left hand palm down. Your audience should be looking at the 10 of Hearts, and not notice the discrepancy.

Leaving your left hand palm down, add the face-down card it holds to the two facedown cards in the right hand. Slowly turn them over one at a time, showing three Kings.

Leave all four cards face-up on the table briefly to let the effect sink in, then pick up the deck and add the cards. Get rid of the double-facer at your earliest convenience.

FINAL NOTES: It is my belief that it is imperative to end packet tricks with the exact number of cards that you supposedly start out with. This, as Charlie Miller once wrote in Magiciana, is "good theatre."

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